July 13, 2017 | Cycle Breaking

“He [Jotham] did what was right in the Lord’s sight as his father Uzziah had done. In addition, he didn’t enter the Lord’s sanctuary.”
[2 Chronicles 27:2 HCSB]
Cycle breaking
Borrowing from a tradition as old as Plutarch (ca. 100 A.D.), I recently taught a lesson comparing two men: Jotham and Zedekiah. Each was a king of Judah. Jotham kept the good traits of his ancestors while eliminating the bad. Where his grandfather and father had unrighteously played at being their own priests, Jotham eschewed the sins of his fathers. Zedekiah was the opposite story. He had an incredible father in Josiah, greatest of all ancient kings. Yet Zedekiah rejected the positives of his ancestors and absorbed so many negatives from the world around him that even his well-intentioned efforts turned evil.
Working through the implications for my own life, I was blessed by insights in some letters I received. Here are a couple:
When you described Jotham you said, “This king was a cycle-breaker.” Amen! That is similar to the life of biblical Noah – the first in a new line of people, one who was not perverse and listened to God. It is why we named our son Noah, hoping the same for him.
Amazingly, I read the broad outline of my life story in Zedekiah and Jotham. I am from a godly line on my mother’s side that goes back as far as they can be traced, at least the 1600s. But, although I was brought up in this atmosphere and churched, I turned my back on it by the time I had been out of college for a few years. I instead embarked on a life of self’-fulfillment and achievement, which I now see as a terrible waste of 20 plus years, even though I succeeded in worldly terms. Thankfully, the Lord didn’t turn his back on me and in my early forties he brought me to faith in Christ and gave me a desire to follow him. I also developed a renewed appreciation for my heritage in a Christian family. More than that, God freed me from the alcoholism and sexual immorality sins of my father that destroyed his marriage to my mother and destroyed him physically (he died of throat cancer at 53).
May we also live Noahic lives! May each of us learn from the good and reject the bad. Amen!